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Nashville DUI/DWI Law Blog

Tennessee county commissioner sentenced for 2012 DUI

No matter who you are, if you are convicted of drunk driving in Tennessee, then you could face harsh penalties. For example, many out-of-state drivers aren't aware that a DUI conviction in Tennessee carries a mandatory jail sentence of 48 hours even for first-time offenses. A second offense results in 45 days in jail, and a subsequent felony offense carries 150 days in jail.

Recently, a Cheatham County official was ordered to serve a mandatory 48-hour jail sentence after being found guilty of DUI. The charge against him dates back to August 2012, when the county commissioner was pulled over following an apparent tip from an off-duty deputy.

DUI charges follow collision with Donelson Waffle House

Just to illustrate, let's say you've been accused of not only driving while under the influence; you've also been accused of causing injury to another person. In that case, you're probably facing a charge of vehicular assault. In Tennessee, for you to be convicted of DUI assault, a prosecutor will have to prove that alcohol -- and your being intoxicated by it -- was the proximate cause of the other person's injury.

However, even if you were under the influence of alcohol when a collision occurred, those circumstances alone are not sufficient to prove that your being intoxicated was the proximate cause of the injury. You should speak with a DUI defense attorney if you ever find yourself accused of vehicular assault.

In the meantime, consider a recent incident in Donelson.

Tennessee Senate action slated on electronic search warrant bill

Donating blood is a good thing. It saves lives. However, the benefits of volunteering to give blood don't necessarily extend to circumstances in which police seek to get a sample of blood to bolster a charge of driving under the influence against a suspect.

Anyone confronted with the decision about whether to submit to a test should seek to protect their rights by contacting an attorney. Questions that deserve to be asked include whether the authorities have a search warrant signed in ink by a judge to collect a blood sample.

This issue has become particularly important since a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. 

Could DUI arrest mark end of Tennessee police officer's career?

The effects of a charge of driving under the influence tend to be felt long before any actual resolution of the case. Penalties often tend to follow the mere leveling of drunk driving charges in Tennessee, which is why contacting an experienced attorney early is recommended.

The reality of that scenario may be settling in for a man in Dyersburg who was arrested after a traffic stop over one recent weekend at the end of last month. The 57-year-old individual is in his 20th year as a member of the local police force and holds the rank of Lieutenant. But in light of his arrest and a charge of DUI, officials in Dyersburg say he has been put on administrative leave without pay and could face further action from the Internal Affairs Division.

His future on the force apparently hinges on the outcome of the official investigation of the circumstances of the case. 

Would a blood draw have helped Tata in DUI defense?

There can be many points of uncertainty regarding evidence in drunk driving cases, any of which may become a possible point of leverage in mounting a defense against the charges. That's why you always hear the advice that if you are facing DUI charge you should be contacting an attorney for the protection of your rights.

Readers of this blog who also happen to be Vanderbilt University football fans may be well aware of the DUI case involving assistant coach Vavae Tata. He pleaded guilty to a charge of DUI earlier this month.

Harrell under Tn. house arrest until vehicular homicide trial

The legal difficulties just seem to keep coming for former 3 Doors Down bassist Robert Todd Harrell. In the latest encounter with the Tennessee justice system, the 42-year-old musician was ordered by a judge to move from his home in Mississippi to some residence in Nashville until he is brought to trial on a charge of vehicular homicide.

We've written about Harrell a number of times on this blog. Readers will likely recall that, according to official records, Harrell has been arrested three times in the past two years on charges related to driving under the influence. The vehicular homicide charge stems from an accident in April 2013 in which a Harrell is accused of causing the death of another driver.

Harrell has been free on bail in connection with that charge. 

TN Supreme Court: Field sobriety test results may not matter

One of things police and prosecutors like to hang their hats on when pressing claims of driving under the influence is if a suspect fails to pass a field sobriety test. As we have noted often in this blog, a lot of circumstances can bring the validity of field sobriety tests into question. Because of that, challenging the results of those tests has been known to be effective in presenting a defense against the charges.

Whether or not that can continue may itself be in question in the wake of a decision recently by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Kennedy scion credits innocence, good counsel, for DUI acquittal

Fifty years ago, the Criminal Justice Act took effect. It was a piece of legislation that Robert F. Kennedy proudly noted as one of his public service legacies. Among its provisions was one assuring that people charged with federal crime who couldn't afford an attorney could get legal representation.  

Today, there are some who say that even as we mark the anniversary of that law, the issue of lack of access to adequate representation remains a significant problem. One of the latest to make the case is RFK's daughter, Kerry. 

Move to toughen DUI vehicular assault penalties renewed

Reasonable people in Tennessee can disagree about what is the most serious issue facing society at any given time. We suspect few would disagree, though, with the proposition that curbing driving under the influence seems to be a constant concern.

Considering the social, physical and emotional costs associated with DUIs, it is understandable that society would want to take measures to protect itself. On the other side of that coin, though, is the importance of protecting the rights of the individual who has been accused of such a crime.

The need for a vigorous defense is always important, but it could be even more essential in the near future if a measure before the Tennessee legislature is passed and signed into law.

Tennessee man who hit power pole faces drunk driving charges

Driving while under the influence of alcohol can have many unintended consequences. In the worst-case scenario serious injury or death is the outcome. But even when something tragic doesn't occur, one person's decision to drive after drinking can affect many others that they may not even come into contact with. A Tennessee man facing drunk driving charges is getting a first-hand lesson on how that might take place.

The man was allegedly drunk when he ran his car into a power pole. The early morning collision knocked the pole to the ground, cutting off the electricity it was supplying to major portions of the Tennessee town in which it was located. The man then reportedly left the scene.